Archive for Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Letter: Searching for information

November 13, 2002

Do you want to hear a story of the miracle of technology? There was a lady who lived in Bonner Springs in the '20s and '30s, who made pictures using cut-up postage stamps to create unique and charming scenes. My sister, Mildred Bundy, was the recipient of one of these letters in 1936 or '37. The letter had a little girl, a tree and a dog on the envelope. At the time we wondered who she was and what her story was, but as time went on, she slipped from our thoughts. Recently, my sister found this letter, and our curiosity was rekindled. I turned to Beth Enloe who has logged hundreds of hours putting the History of Bonner Springs into a computer and I asked her if she had anything on Berenice Conover. Imagine the shock of finding Beth had found two entries. The first was in March 1938 and was written by Ralph Donahue in his weekly column in The Chieftain called "Trails of the Seasons", in which he wrote about this remarkable woman. Although confined to a wheelchair and in terrible pain, she made these stamp pictures and other works of art. Her fame spread and she received letters every month perhaps donations of stamps? Then in May 1938 we found her obituary. She was 54 years old and had been homebound for eight years. We were astonished because we assumed she was elderly. She didn't let her disabilities daunt her and she gave joy and inspiration to many, many people. She lived at 245 Allcutt. If anyone remembers Berenice Conover cal (913) 441-1373.

Ella Mae Mitchell

Bonner Springs

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